Issues of Focus

Leadership Training and Service

Each year, SERVE leaders focus on important social issues on which effect not only our local community, but communities around the world. Students research, organize, engage in peer training and reflection, lead trips, and document their efforts.

2012-2013 Issues of focus include:

Clean Water Soultions

Disaster Relief

Rural Poverty

National Parks

2011-2012 issues included:

Food Justice & Youth

Farm at Walker Jones, Washington DC

This trip took place on an emerging uprban farm that serves children, families and neighbors and has raised over 3,000 pounds of food in its first growing season. The Farm at Walker Jones serves the greater community in which it resides, but it is, first and foremost, an extension of the educational hopes and dreams for the students of Walker Jones Education Campus. It is an outdoor classroom where experiential learning integrated into the school curriculum happens side by side with the social and emotional education required to train the leaders of tomorrow. At Walker Jones, they educate the whole child, and that includes reminding that child that the foods they eat are as important as the books they read. The focus of this trip was on organic farming and promoting healthy lifestyles and activities among children.

Environmental Protection

Catalina Island Conservancy, Catalina Island, CA

This domestic trip took place in a unique location that has been ravaged by wild fires over the past decade. The purpose of the Conservancy is to preserve native plants and animals, its biological communities and its geological and geographical formations of educational interest. Sevice included trail construction and maintenance, building fence enclosures, non-native plant removal, fire recovery and protecting endangered native plant species.

Arts & Special Populations

Camp Baker, Chesterfield, VA

This domestic trip took place at a camp that has offered day-long and afterschool programs for individuals with special needs since 1929. Service included supporting campers and providing an abundance of 'camp style' projects.

Clean Water Solutions

Ometepe, Nicaragua

Clean water is soemthing most of us don't consider until the power goes out, yet many communities around the world do not have access to clean water on a daily basis. This international teip to Nicaragua focused on connecting local residents to the main water supply and water conservation education. JSC community members did intense physical labor to ensure clean water access to families.

See more about this trip on the Notes From Nicaragua blog.

The group also ran into Willem Lange while in Ometepe; read about his work here.


For more information, contact Krista Swahn at or 802-635-1478.